Posts Tagged ‘DU’

Peace Day

September 25, 2007

peace_dayOn Sunday Malu Aina joined the peace day parade and festival in Honokaa. That’s us in the white suits with the radiation symbol, finishing up. We went as citizen radiation monitors to help raise awareness about Depleted Uranium (DU).

Depleted Uranium is used in weapons for armor penetration. It is very hard and has many qualities desirable by the military. Unfortunately it is also a radioactive waste product which is pyrophoric. This means that as it heats up it aerosolizes and burns. As a result, small radioactive ceramic particles are released into the atmosphere, and carried on the wind like dust. As a fine particles they can easily be inhaled and lodge in the lungs or other parts of the body. Remember, these are radioactive particles that are potential lodging in the human body. They are ceramic as well, so they are neither absorbed nor broken down by the body.

There has been very little science done on the effects of DU exposure. However there seems to be a connection between DU and birth defects. DU appears to affect the reproductive cycle in some way that is not fully understood. There are many other negative health affects that may be associated with DU but the birth defects are the most disturbing.

Here is a short, powerful, disturbing film about Depleted Uranium.

Why is this an issue here in Hawaii? We are very militarized here. In the center of the Big Island is the Pohakuloa Training Area. This is a live fire range. The military has now confirmed that DU munitions have been used and found at Pohakuloa. This means personnel at Pohakuloa and those living downwind of the Training Area may be being exposed to DU.

Currently the military and the Health Department are doing very little to protect the Citizens of Hawaii. In fact they are working very hard to whitewash the issue. As we know from the Downwinders out west, those who lived downwind of the nuclear tests in the desert, it is up to us, the citizens, to protect ourselves. Neither the government nor the military will take responsibility for poisoning its citizens. This is not speculation; this is history.

Anyway, the event was a great success. We had fun and were able to distribute over 1000 flyers on this important health issue.

Peace, Paul